[Online conference] Delocalised justice: The transnationalisation of corporate accountability for human rights violations originating in Africa

25 - 26 March 2021
  • Starts at: 13:45h
  • Fee: Free
  • Venue: Online
  • Organiser: T.M.C. Asser Instituut

On Thursday 25 March and Friday 26 March 2021, the Asser Institute will be hosting the online conference co-organised Delocalised justice: The transnationalisation of corporate accountability for human rights violations originating in Africa, co-organised by the Asser Doing Business Right team and AfronomicsLaw.

More than twenty years ago nine local activists from the Ogoni region of Nigeria were executed by the then military dictatorship. The story of the Ogoni Nine does not stop in Nigeria; the tale of the nine men, the many lives lost, and the environmental degradation linked to the extraction of oil in the region by Shell has quite literally travelled the world.

What is often commonly referred to as the Kiobel case - after the application lodged by Esther Kiobel, the widow of Dr. Barinem Kiobel - originated in Nigeria, has been heard by courts in the USA, and is currently before Dutch courts.

The Kiobel case, as well as a flurry of other cases (e.g. the Bralima case before the Dutch NCP, the Nevsun case before the Canadian courts, the Vedanta case before the UK courts, or the Total case before the French courts, among others), embodies the flight of corporate accountability cases out of their original African contexts.

Delocalisation of access to justice
This transnational quest for an effective remedy by those whose human and/or environmental rights have been violated is understandable, but it also raises serious questions about the consequences of the delocalisation of justice in such cases.

This conference, co-organised by AfronomicsLaw and the Asser Institute, aims to provide a forum for critical discussions of the justifications for, and consequences of, using various delocalised ‘sites of justice’ for human and environmental rights violations associated with ‘doing business’ in Africa.

In this collaboration between AfronomicsLaw and the Asser Institute’s Doing Business Right project, we welcome contributions from scholars working on African international law, African perspectives of international/transnational law, as well as scholars working on business and human rights more generally. The aim is to bring a plurality of voices into conversation with each other, and to generate original (and critical) engagements with the operation of transnational justice in the business and human rights space.

For more information on the conference, please see the call for papers here.

Find the speakers and programme here.

If you would like to join the conference as part of our online audience, please send an email with your name and affiliation by Monday 22 March to Dr Antoine Duval at a.duval@asser.nl